Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo wound up today as the pacesetter in the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of San Marino. The reigning World Champion struggled to find top form in the morning practice but worked hard with his crew to make key set up changes over the lunchtime period. The afternoon session saw the improvements fire him almost immediately to the top of the time sheets where he remained unchallenged for the entire session, leading at times by over second.
Lorenzo’s team mate Ben Spies was one of the men to beat in the morning session, clocking some impressive lap times. He was the fastest rider until the last seconds of the session; ultimately finishing up in second, just 0.286 from first. The afternoon practice was spent trying a number of different set ups for rider position, the Texan ending in fifth 0.54 seconds from Lorenzo in first.
Position 1st – Time 1.33.929 – Laps 43
“I feel much more comfortable on the bike this afternoon with the changes we made. The setting we made is very similar to the Mugello one and there I won the race. To be honest I didn’t expect so much change because we improved more than one second. We are now quite close to a victory I think. Casey and Dani are still so fast but at least we are there with them.”
Position 5th – Time 1.34.466 – Laps 42
“Not bad today, it wasn’t a great second session but we had to try a lot of things. We’ve been working a little bit on rider position since before Indy and we came up with a good direction for me. We tried to go more in that way this afternoon but it was too much so we lost a bit of the second session on it. Other than that we tried all the tyres we wanted to and went pretty fast with quite a lot of laps on them. Overall a positive day, we tried some stuff that worked and some stuff that didn’t. We need to work harder for tomorrow and improve some grip levels but the overall feel and speed I’m happy with.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We analysed the morning session well, the guys worked hard and we changed the bike a lot for the second session. We had better traction and Jorge could stop the bike a lot better than this morning. We improved over a second but we still have some issues. Now we are up there and ready to improve a little more tomorrow. It was a tough afternoon but the guys did really well to deliver the package.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We started with the right foot forward this weekend. This afternoon we tried different things with set up and tyres for Ben, now we have to fix a couple of issues but overall we are quite satisfied. Jorge made a great second session, very fast and consistent which is important. We will keep working and tomorrow we will finalise our set ups for the race.”
Edwards and Crutchlow seek improved pace in Misano
Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow started preparations for the Misano MotoGP round with solid performances today, and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders are confident they can significantly improve their pace for qualifying and the 28-lap race.
American Edwards set the 10th best time on the opening day of practice at a sun-kissed Misano circuit that witnessed temperatures soaring to a physically demanding 30 degrees this afternoon.
Working on improving high-speed stability with his YZR-M1 machine, Edwards was able to knock almost 0.3s off his best time in the opening session to finish with a 1.35.301.
The 37-year-old also dedicated a large portion of his 44 laps on track to evaluate the performance of Bridgestone’s soft and hard compound rear tyre options to finish just over 0.3s away from the top six.
Crutchlow started well this morning and put his World Supersport and World Superbike knowledge of the 2.626 miles Misano track to good use to finish just over 0.2s away from the top 10.
Although he was able to lap over 0.3s quicker in this afternoon’s 45-minute session, the British rider wasn’t rewarded for that impressive improvement and he slipped down the order to 15th. Crutchlow is confident he can improve his pace tomorrow to challenge for a top 10 place on the grid, as he aims to focus on gaining more grip and confidence with Bridgestone’s hard rear tyre.
Position 10th – Time 1.35.301 – Laps 44
“Today was a solid day withou t being too spectacular. We rolled off the truck from Indy not terribly fast and it is always nice to come out of the blocks with a bit more speed than I did. My biggest problem today has been high-speed stability and you can lose a lot of time in the three really fast right-handers here. The front-end was also tucking quite a bit this afternoon and at times the sensation was like I was riding on a flat tyre. We made some changes which we felt were going to make the bike better but we just ran out of time, so we’ll sit down tonight and look at some data and come up with a plan for tomorrow. I feel confident and reasonably comfortable and with a couple of changes to the bike for tomorrow I’m sure we can come out all guns blazing. We also need to find something to help me with the hard rear tyre. I’m lacking a bit of entry grip, so we’ll work on that too. Initially it feels fantastic but the lap times were no better. We got some ideas to get more side and entry grip with the hard tyre, so I’m sure we’ll be much faster tomorrow.”
Position 15th – Time 1.35.622 – Laps 42
“Today wasn’t an easy start to the weekend but I don’t think 15th place is a true reflection of our potential. I had a few issues with getting the hard rear tyre to work, so we’ll need to have a look at a big improvement in that area for tomorrow. I ran the same soft tyre I’d used this morning in the second session and even with 36 laps on it, I went just as quick with that as what we did with a brand new hard tyre. Lorenzo is more than 1.5s quicker on the hard tyre and I can’t get it to work, so we need to have a look at the setting and perhaps make the bike more similar to what we ran in Indianapolis. We’ll have a look at the data tonight and see what we can work out for tomorrow. I’m trying my hardest and I don’t think I’m that far away beca use 0.5s would put me eighth.”
2011 MotoGP San Marino
Misano, San Marino 02/09/2011
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’33.929
2 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1’34.005
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’34.205
4 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1’34.444
5 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1’34.469
6 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1’34.989
7 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1’35.023
8 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’35.111
9 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1’35.282
10 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1’35.301
11 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 1’35.331
12 Randy De Puniet Ducati FRA 1’35.418
13 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’35.419
14 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1’35.423
15 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’35.622
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Casey Stoner, 8/31/2008)
Last Years Winner: